HOUSTON – A brazen act of vandalism in an apartment complex in Rice Village where dozens of vehicles were broken into, and oddly, nothing was stolen.
Some residents at the Hanover Apartments said there was cash in glove compartments and even electronics in front seats, but nothing was taken.
“It makes me feel very scared,” said Marray Spillard, a tenant of Hanover Apartments and recent victim of a car break-in. “I’m a 71-year-old person, I can’t feel like I can’t go out into my garage and get into my car.”
Reza John Mehran said he feels betrayed.
“Obviously, it’s a crime and you’re a victim of a crime, you feel betrayed and I don’t feel well protected in this building despite the huge cost that they make us pay,” Mehran said.
Residents were made aware of the incident Saturday around noon.
As you walk through the parking lot’s second and third floor, you could see smashed windows, one after another. Glass was also scattered across the ground, and in some, car seats that had not been touched yet.
“It cost $1,217 to replace a window in my brand new five-month-old car,” Spillard said.
Spillard has lived in Rice Village for nearly three decades and said this is a first for her.
“The reason why I lived into this complex is because of the secure garage door, or what I thought was secure. This is organized crime,” she aded.
Dr. Reza Mehran is a Cardiovascular surgeon at MD Anderson. He said he was one of the first tenants in the building nearly a decade ago. He was up on Saturday evening while he was on call when it happened.
“The alarms of the cars didn’t go off, none of them,” Mehran said.
This is something he says was incredibly bizarre, but even more concerning is how they got in.
“We have a security guard here 24 hours, and the reason they are here is because this door has been defective for quite a while now,” Mehran said.
And after the security guard, residents have to enter one gate and then another with a special key fob. This new key fob was recently distributed to all of the residents of the 300 units, which Mehran says is no small feat.
The day management informed residents about the vandalism, there was a sign left up with a number for victims to call if they were affected and the single claims number they could use. Next to that sign was another piece of paper that said, “Oops, we messed up again, sorry about your cars, but we can’t control evil. Here at Hanover Rice Village, we don’t make mistakes, mistakes make us.”
“How unprofessional,” noted Spillard.
And according to Mehran, the apartments are not just for long-term residents.
“I know of a woman getting treatment at a nearby hospital and she is dealing with her sickness and now with petty crime. A lot of patients from Texas Medical Center who come here for a short period of time while in radiation stay in these apartments,” Mehran said. “One woman was on blood thinners and she was nervous to even go near the glass. A number of those people were affected by this event here.”
So now, residents will begin to make their repairs while they continue to scratch their heads, hoping this doesn’t happen again.
“Why would anyone come and destroy 100 vehicles and why didn’t the alarms go off?” one resident asked.
According to the Houston Police Department, the case has currently been handed over to investigators. They will speak with each victim and go over any available evidence.
Here is the full email sent out to residents on Saturday morning:
“This morning we have been made aware of multiple vehicles in the garage that sustained vandalism. We have also heard from another apartment management company that they have experienced the same situation. We will work closely with the Houston Police Department to do whatever we can to aid in their investigation. If you find your vehicle was affected, please feel free to come to the office or contact us to include your information as one of the vehicles affected after you have also reported it to Houston Police Department. Their non-emergency number is 713-884-3131. Please know are here to help answer any questions that you may have and to help our residents as we navigate through this. Sincerely, Hanover Rice Village Management Team
KPRC2 reached out to the property management company for comment but we have not heard back.